There has been chatter in recent months about Paul Volcker, the chairman of President Barack Obama's Economic Advisory Board, being muffled by the Administration—especially when it comes to his views on bank regulation. But that hasn't stopped Volcker from taking his argument for separating commercial and investment banking on the road, scolding bankers in
No, we shouldn't have a permanent loss of jobs, but we have a considerable adjustment process to go through here. We've got to restore investment, we've got to restore our manufacturing industry, not the old-fashioned manufacturing industry, but we have to do a better job at the new industries that are coming along—the so-called green economy. Other countries are ahead of us in production that's related to change.
The American political process is about as broken as the financial system. Therefore, one has to be a bit skeptical. Just to give you one little example, one unrelated to the financial crisis. Here we are on Dec. 29, almost a year after the Inauguration, and there is no Under Secretary of the Treasury. That should be an important position. How can we run a government in the middle of a financial crisis without doing the ordinary, garden-variety administrative work of filling the relevant agencies? The Treasury is an outstanding example of a broken system, but it's not the only one.
True. But has he been able to do that at this point? It doesn't look that way. I think that's unfortunate. I wish the Administration would pay more attention to what's needed to improve the ordinary functioning of government. We can't even fight a war with our own people any more. We've got to hire Blackwater. I think people have lost confidence in government, they've lost trust in government, and it shows. This isn't a question just of this Administration. It's been kind of a steady, downhill path.